Meet Alesandra: Most Mindul Jew of the Week!

If slowing down, being more mindful, and starting a yoga/meditation practice are on your list of 2019 goals – Alesandra Zsiba is your woman. This zen yogi fills us in on what it’s like to direct the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington (JMCW) at Adas Israel, her dream Shabbat celebration, and tips to live more mindfully. Get to know her!

alesandra

Allie: What brought you to DC?

Alesandra: Well, like many stories, I came to DC to follow love. It was the year after my year of service with AmeriCorps and my partner from college was here, so I made the decision to come to DC. While at AmeriCorps, I started my own course for ELL students (English Language Learners) focused on healing trauma and self-actualizing through the creative process – photography, performance, documentary filmmaking, and poetry. That spring boarded me into this career developing the Identity Project, which I brought to schools and organizations around DC.

Today, I still run the Identity Project in addition to my work with the JMCW.

Allie: What does JMCW do?

Alesandra: JMCW started as a way to bring mindfulness practice into the synagogue space. We host weekly, drop-in Jewish yoga and meditation classes, Rosh Chodesh programs to celebrate the New Moon, and we’re having our first daylong retreat at Pearlstone Retreat Center on President’s Day. I’ll be co-leading it! 

Allie: How did you get into your role at JMCW?

Alesandra: After I did a yoga teacher training in 2013, I was really excited to connect what I learned about yoga to what I know about Judaism. I started going to yoga classes with Roni Zelivinski at JMCW – Roni is wonderful. She’s a doula and a midwife, and used to teach at JMCW. She got me involved. I was soaking up whatever JMCW had to offer, and then started teaching there. As I deepened my relationships with people there, I  stepped into the role of program coordinator for the yoga program and then became Director of Engagement.

Allie: What first drew you to yoga and mindfulness?

Alesandra: I had a really beautiful, deep relationship with my grandfather who was a cantor and a mystic in his own right. Everything that I learned about Jewish mindfulness as an adult I tie back to him.

Alesandra Zsiba

Allie: What is your favorite way to celebrate Shabbat?

Alesandra: Years ago, my partner at the time and I went to Israel with Sixth & I, and found a really beautiful Shabbat on the beach – there was so much music and dancing, and everyone felt so free. The organic and public nature of that was really appealing. I’ve always wanted to go back to that. I also would really love to have a havdalah yoga practice within community.

Allie: What does mindfulness mean to you?

Alesandra: It means creating a path to stillness inside yourself. It’s a practice of healing, self-actualizing, and maturing…it’s about pressing pause on the doing and finding calm in a busy, busy world.

Allie: What is one tip you would give for someone seeking to live more mindfully?

Alesandra: Find community. We’re so conditioned to try and do things on our own, but I really think the answer is to get excited about it through other people. All the good, juicy bits of life happen in the context of relationships. Go make a pact with a friend to be mindfulness buddies, and try out a meditation event together.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Alesandra: There’s a lot of questioning, talking, and curiosity. It’s beautiful and loud.

Alesandra Zsiba

 

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The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

 

Jewish Cat of the Month: Bruce!

Want to nominate your awesome doggy (or cat!) to be featured? Email Sarah Brennan and let her know.

bruce catSarah: What is your name?

Bruce Katz.

Sarah: How did you get to DC?

Bruce: That’s a good question! I don’t really remember because I was a baby. I do remember that I used to live in the basement of an apartment building. It was very scary! Thankfully the animal shelter found me after I was injured and they nursed me back to health, but there’s no medicine as good as an owner who loves you. Except for penicillin.

Sarah: Who is your best friend?

Bruce: My best friend is my roommate Meeko! He usually eats all of the food. Sometimes, he wakes me up at dawn while meowing for food. We like to gallop around the house and playfully fight each other. I hope one day I get to make another cat friend!

Sarah: What is your biggest pet peeve that your owner does?

Bruce: I don’t understand why my owners sing to me all of the time. They sing to me in the morning when they’re getting ready to leave for the outside, and when they come back they sing at me more. I’ve always wondered if they sing to everybody in the outside too.

Sarah: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and why?

Bruce: I love Purrrrrrrrrim!

Sarah: My biggest fear is….

Bruce: FOMO!!! I hate missing out on a good time, so I like to hang out with my owners whenever they’re home or they bring over any extra humans.

Sarah: I get most excited when…

Bruce: My owner plays mid-2000s Lil’ Wayne or The Boss himself!

Sarah: What is your spirit animal?

Bruce: A ram. The Jewish significance of the ram really speaks to me. And I also head-butt others when I want attention.

cat

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Meet Amanda: Jewish Backpacker of the Week!

amanda

Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Amanda: I ended up back here to live near family as I’m originally from the area. I went away for college in Ohio and after graduating, backpacked in South America. Once I had been bitten by the travel bug, I decided to live in South Korea for a year. Eventually, it was time to come home.

Allie: What led you to live in South Korea for a year?

Amanda: In high school I was very interested in anime, which was a gateway for me into Korean dramas and music. After college, I was interested in moving abroad to teach. South Korea stood out to me because of my interest in Korean culture and language. After living in South Korea, I continued traveling and went backpacking throughout Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Myanmar. I’m very lucky that I was able to do this. I really miss traveling.

Allie: What are some of your favorite memories from traveling and living abroad?

Amanda: In South America, the salt flats in Bolivia (Salar de Uyuni) were so breathtakingly beautiful. In South Korea, teaching every day was so much fun. I taught English to children through a program with the Korean government called EPIK.

Allie: Is there anything left on your travel bucket list?

Amanda: I haven’t been able to explore the African continent, and would love to go pretty much anywhere there. I’d also like to go to Russia and Germany. I made friends from both countries while I was abroad and would love to visit them.

Allie: What life lessons have you learned from all of your traveling?

Amanda: Always keep an open mind, whether that is in response to food, cultural norms, the language, exploring a new city, or meeting people with different opinions.

amanda

Allie: What do you do to relax at the end of a long work week?

Amanda: I love playing with my guinea pigs (named Chips and Salsa), watching TV with my roommates, or grabbing a drink with friends. I try to fill up my weekend with as many friend playdates as possible.

Allie: If you could be famous for anything, what would you want to be famous for?

Amanda: I’d like to be famous for being a philanthropist. I’d love to be a crazy rich person who gives tons of money to struggling causes.

Allie: What is your favorite Jewish holiday and how do you like to celebrate?

Amanda: I guess Hanukkah! I usually have parties for both sides of my family, and we all dress in Hanukkah sweaters and eat lots of latkes and light candles. I’m lucky I have a lot of family in the area and everyone stays really connected.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Amanda: They play a very easy game of Jew-ography. Everyone knows each other here.

amanda

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Mini Gatherings: New to DC/Early 20s


Want to meet other interesting Jews in a smaller, more personal setting? Looking to explore questions that matter to Jewish 20s and 30s? Afraid of commitment?

GatherDC is excited to open applications for the 17th round of Mini Gatherings. We are looking for Jews in their early 20s who are looking to connect with others over meaningful discussions!

apply now

WHAT IS MINI GATHERINGS?

Mini Gatherings is a 3-week-long mini-fellowship that brings together ~15 diverse Jews to meet one another and have some DMCs (deep meaningful conversations) over beers. By the end, you’ll have made new friends, had some great discussions, and laughed at least twice.

WHO IS IT FOR?

This Mini Gatherings cohort is for Jewish adults who are in their early 20s and new to DC, looking to explore Judaism and meet new friends in a small, personal setting.

WHEN IS IT? 

6:30 – 8 pm on Wednesday, January 23rd, January 30th, and February 6th and Shabbat dinner on Friday night, February 1st.

WHERE IS IT? 

Somewhere in Dupont Circle. TBD.

ANY QUESTIONS? 

Email Rachel Nieves at racheln@gatherdc.org

DEADLINE TO APPLY? 

Apply below by Wednesday, January 16th at midnight.

    

mm/yy

Rabbi Rant: My 2019 Resolution = Tell More Soul Stories

rabbi rant

We all have moments of feeling inadequate – whether it’s for a specific task that we have to perform or a general sense that we’re not as great as the image we project.

So, what should we do in those moments?

Modern wisdom advises to “fake it til you make it.” Highlight the best version of yourself, even if it feels untrue. After all, studies show that success “correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.” Besides, everyone else is doing it. It’s practically the new social contract – the social media contract, if you will.

Yet there’s another option, a road less taken, that’s as radical as it is simple – be honest and show your vulnerability.

Parker Palmer, a contemporary Quaker theologian, spells out these two different approaches, naming them ego stories” and “soul stories.” We can avoid our feelings of inadequacy by focusing on our ego stories of accomplishments and successes. Our soul stories, on the other hand, embrace hardships and failures. But because they aren’t stories where we come off looking perfect, we resist sharing them with others, or even acknowledging them within ourselves. It’s easier to ignore that part of our narrative.

These two competing ways of presenting ourselves to the world are also found within our own tradition, embodied by Pharoah and Moses, the two archrivals in the book of Exodus that Jews across the world began reading this past weekend.

Pharoah, who embodies the “ego story,” projects (over)confidence. He thinks of himself so highly that, according to some commentators, he claims to be a God. On the other side is Moses, who embodies the “soul story.” When God comes to him with the divine mission to lead the people out of Egypt, Moses responds: “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah?”

Pharoah leads with self-importance, while Moses leads with self-doubt. And God doesn’t correct Moses by reassuring him or assuaging his fears. There’s no: “Moses, I’ve chosen you because you’re so great” or “Moses, you should stop being so insecure.” Instead, God simply says: “I will be with you.” God lives in the places of vulnerability.

There’s certainly a time for confidence, but it might not be in our moments of insecurity. In fact, the Ishbitzer Rebbe says that it is forbidden to project confidence in moments of doubt. This is, of course, easier said than done. Still, behind his radical view is the understanding that the spiritual life begins where the ego story ends. To live a full life, we need to make space for our soul story. It might not lead to greater “success,” but it will lead us to greater freedom. It’s the path out of Egypt.

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Meet Josh: Jewish Athlete of the Week!

josh

Josh and I go way back. We met at age 5 when he was my down-the-street neighbor, but sadly we lost touch over the years. Recently, we discovered the we work one block from one another and happily reconnected over a delicious cup of Philz Coffee. I was stoked to make Josh a “Jewish Person of the Week”, and loved hearing about his newfound passion for fitness, travel adventures, and dodgeball. Enjoy getting to know this mensch of a man!

 

Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Josh: I grew up outside of DC, up the street from you! I went to school in Philly for undergrad and law school and then returned after that to start working at my current job at a big law firm. I’m your typical Jewish lawyer.

Allie: Did you do anything fun to ring in the new year?

Josh: I booked a last minute trip to Costa Rica. I went up to the mountains and did some zip lining, and white water rafting. It was a completely solo trip and the perfect way to get out of the bustle of DC.

Allie: What would your dream DC day be?

Josh: I’d definitely wake up early and go for a nice run along the mall. I’d treat myself to a hearty Bethesda Bagel breakfast, and then check out a few museums. I’ve also never been on a Segway tour and would love to do that. Then, I’d finish it up with a dinner on 14th Street. I’m a huge fan of trying new restaurants.

Allie: What is your favorite Jewish holiday and how do you like to celebrate it?

Josh: Well, Hanukkah is what the people want to hear. I do enjoy it a lot. It’s a nice festive time of year that is not heavily focused on prayers, but rather focused on having friends and family come together. I really just like any Jewish holiday that involves fried food.

josh volunteering

Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish food?

Josh: My mom’s noodle kugel with raisins. Noodle kugel without raisins is not noodle kugel. It is just pasta.

Allie: What’s at the top of your life bucket list?

Josh: In 5th grade, my parents helped me create a model of the Sydney Opera House. I was fortunate enough to travel to Sydney and see that opera house first hand, and got to check that off my list. Now, I’d love to go skydiving. As a former fat kid, I was always over the skydiving weight limit, and I think now I am under it and am eligible to go skydiving. I also want to go to Colombia and am looking for a travel partner. If anyone wants to come, please comment below.

Allie: I hear you are now a big runner, what motivated you to get into this?

Josh: In high school, I sat on my butt all day and watched TV. In college, I started going to the gym and really enjoyed it. I found running and exercise to be a great stress reliever. I recently finished my second half marathon and just found out that I got into the Chicago Marathon! I’ll be running that October 2019.

josh

Allie: What do you enjoy about running?

Josh: Running is just me, my headphones, and maybe some Lady Gaga. It’s such a great way for me to release stress, get around the city, and maybe one day I’ll run into the love of my life at a stop sign.

Allie: Who is your Jewish role model?

Josh: When I came to DC I joined the Nice Jewish Boys network. Without calling out these people by name, seeing how they interact with their friends, the love they give to newcomers to DC, and their willingness to open up their homes to those who want new friends – that warms my heart. I hope to be able to emulate them.

Allie: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Josh: I’m a pretty good recreational dodgeball player. I joined the Stonewall Dodgeball League when I first moved to dc and really enjoy it. It’s been a really good way to meet people and relieve stress. As the last kid to get picked for the dodgeball team in elementary school, I am now shining in my glory days!

Allie: Complete this sentence, When Jews of DC Gather…

Josh: There’s always good food.

With my Stonewall Dodgeball team!

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

What I learned from the JWI Young Women’s Leadership Conference…

jwi

This month, I attended a conference and luncheon where something amazing happened.

No one mansplained.

No one had their ideas repeated without receiving credit.

Everyone got airtime, and very rarely was someone interrupted or talked over.

After working at this event for a second year in a row, it hit me again that in hosting the Young Women’s Leadership Conference and Women to Watch (WTW) Gala Luncheon each December, JWI creates a unique platform for women’s voices.

Thus far in my career, I’ve had the privilege to work in fields dominated by women. It means that I’m often in spaces with primarily, or only, women. Even so, I’m familiar with the experiences some women have had in the workplace – e.g. working harder to prove yourself, bosses telling you that you’re too emotional, others making inappropriate comments about your appearance. Once, I sat in a meeting listening to a male executive with no design background explain color usage to a room full of women with design degrees. I do acknowledge and feel grateful that this instance is a fairly tame example compared to what some women often experienced in their professional lives.

Reimagining our workplace

JWI’s conference and luncheon represent a unique opportunity to break down these types of common experiences, and beyond that, to reimagine what a truly equitable workplace can look like.

Conference attendees heard Ellen Stone of Bravo (WTW ‘11) talk about letting other people shine, acknowledging positive intent, and sincerely thanking your employees. Dr. Bonnie Hartstein (WTW ‘13), a physician and colonel in the Army, said, “Owning yourself and being who you are is part of your strength. Being a professional doesn’t mean you have to change who you are, but to present your best self.” At the Women to Watch Symposium, this year’s honorees agreed that teamwork has had a major impact on their professional lives. These sentiments – building positive relationships, owning your strengths, the importance of collaboration –echoed throughout the weekend.  

What we witnessed at the Conference and at WTW this year was the way that leadership and company culture changes when women lead. We’re striving for authenticity, for helping others to succeed, for bringing your whole self to work. Rather than, “every man for themselves,” we’re asking how we can create high-functioning teams where everyone brings something to the table. We’re redefining what the workplace can look like, and as a result, building better companies and organizations. And, we’re supporting each other and expanding empathy and inclusivity.

Actress and disability rights advocate Marlee Matlin took the stage at the luncheon on Monday and described how she has built a 33-year career as a successful actress, overcoming both misconceptions about herself and a personal battle with domestic violence. “I know for sure,” she signed, “that it would not have been possible without the strength and the desire to overcome barriers.”  

So, here’s to a weekend that celebrated the strength and determination of women leaders.

One last thought

I’ll leave you with one last moment that I can’t stop thinking about:

In a panel on #MeToo, a conference attendee asked, “How do you approach [sexism] in the Jewish communal world with the men on your Board of Directors?” JWI’s CEO Lori Weinstein responded, “Well, I’d like to say that you can do what I do – have a Board that’s all women.”

 

 

vbAbout the authorValerie Brown has been in DC for 3 years, and questions the decision every time the humidity acts up. She is an unapologetic avocado toast consumer, avid podcast subscriber, cat befriender, and manager of Marketing and Communications for JWI in her spare time.

 

 

 

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Meet Sam: Eclectic Jew of the Week

Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Sam: In 2014, I got a job after I graduated to be a paralegal at a law firm in DC. I end up not loving that job, but it led me to staying in this city. I later switched to the job I have now, at Americans United for Separation of Church & State (AU) which I love.

Allie: Why do you think it’s so important to separate church and state?

Sam: Separating church and state lets you live your life according to your personal beliefs. It allows you to pursue the health care you want, the education you want, and to practice whatever religion you believe in without the government telling you what to do. As a Jewish person, separating church and state lets me live my life without feeling like an outsider. It might seem natural that our religious views wouldn’t be the law, but many Americans don’t see it that way.

Allie: If you could invite 3 living celebrities to your Shabbat dinner table, who would they be?

Sam: Michelle Obama, Issa Rae- I love her right now- and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and how do you celebrate?

Sam: Well, I really like carbs, so Passover doesn’t work. I’ll say Rosh Hashanah. The food options are really excellent, and my family has a big dinner.

Allie: What’s at the top of your life bucket list?

Sam: I’d love to go to Japan, Ireland, and the UK. I’m a bit of an Anglophile and love British TV. I’d also like to run a 10K, and be able to hold a yoga handstands for longer than 30 seconds. Oh, I’d also love to bake a wedding cake for someone.

Allie: Wow! You’ve got quite a range of passions. Tell me more about your love of baking?

Sam: I love to bake. I make cakes, pies, cookies, and I’m just getting into bread. It’s very relaxing for me; it’s the perfect thing to do at the end of the week to shut the world off. I turn on a podcast, and bake something challenging. I recently made these red velvet cookie bars with cream cheese frosting that were amazing. My boyfriend’s dad has requested lemon cookies, but I don’t like lemon. I’m trying to find a way to make some that I can also enjoy.

Where do you get your recipes from?

Sam: My grandma and mom. My mom is an amazing baker.

Allie: Besides baking, what are your favorite ways to relax?

Sam: I love yoga. I’ve tried every studio. I would recommend Yoga District which has studios all around the city, and Edge Yoga which is a tiny studio that is the best in the world. I also like really trashy, horrible reality TV like Love Island and Made in Chelsea. I also love Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, and I’m watching Killing Eve right now which is amazing.

Allie: Complete this sentence. When Jews of DC Gather…

Sam: They argue, but in a friendly way.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Jewish Dog of the Month: Brooklyn

brooklyn

Sarah: What is your name?

Brooklyn Spellman

Sarah: Where did your name come from?

Brooklyn: My mommy adopted me when I was already 7 years old, so I came with the name. But I think it suits me!

Sarah: What is your favorite way to spend a day in DC?

Brooklyn: I love to be social and around people so my favorite days are the ones where my mommy takes me somewhere fun. We love Medium Rare and St. Arnold’s in our neighborhood, Cleveland Park, or Dacha in Shaw.

Sarah: How did you get to DC?

Brooklyn: My mommy adopted me from Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue in 2014. I was surrendered, which means that my old owners couldn’t take care of me anymore but according to my old vet records I’m from Maryland, just like my mommy!

Sarah: What is your favorite food?

Brooklyn: I love most human foods, but I would have to say that my favorites are baby carrots and French fries.

Sarah: What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Brooklyn: Nobody can believe that I am 12 years old! I think that I am young at heart, and my mommy takes the best care of me. We also love the doctors at City Paws Uptown, who give me tons of treats after my appointments.

Sarah: What is your biggest pet peeve that your owner does?

Brooklyn: I make a big fuss when my mommy tries to cuddle with me (or as she likes to call it, “the snuggle struggle”). She usually gets her way, and I love belly rubs and attention.

Sarah: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and why?

Brooklyn: My favorite holiday is Pawnukkah. I love spending time with my family, and it definitely doesn’t hurt that my mommy sneaks me latkes when she thinks no one is looking.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Jewish DC Year in Review: 2018

year in review

 

Ah, 2018. Was it all that bad?

Okay yes, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson broke our hearts. We had some awkward political tension.  We could go through the list of awful things, because – safe to say – they were plentiful. Instead, let’s recap 2018 on a high note.

After all, 2018 had some pretty beautiful moments.

Queer Eye’s fab five travelled around the U.S. changing lives – one fabulous makeover at a time. “Crazy Rich Asians” made us smile uncontrollably for days. The Caps won the Stanley Cup. Also, Ariana Grande came out with the best music video, possibly ever.

Locally, Jewish DC hosted over 1,000+ community events for 20s/30s, ushered in more than 9 new rabbis to the area, hosted Yom Kippur in a bar, welcomed a new Jewish deli to the scene, and so much more!

Here’s a recap of some of our very favorite moments across Jewish DC in 2018.

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JEWISH PEOPLE OF THE WEEK!

This year, we interviewed 50 of the most phenomenal Jewish people across the District. From a professional pastry chef to politicians to renowned restauranteurs, we were stoked to introduce you to some of DC’s most dope Jews.

In case you missed one, here’s a recap.

Carly was named Most Dope Jew of the Week. She, along with 50 others, were featured as Gather’s Jewish Person of the Week this year!

 

JANUARY

MLK Shabbat at Sixth & I: January 12

mlk shabbat

A favorite Sixth & I annual tradition, this moving service with Turner Memorial AME Church—which worshiped in Sixth & I’s building for five decades—commemorates the spirit and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

 

Metro Minyan Shabbat: January 26

metro minyan

Every month, Washington Hebrew Congregation’s 2239 hosts a casual, musical, come-as-you-are Shabbat service followed by dinner with other 20s and 30s from across the city.

 

FEBRUARY

Beyond the Tent: February 9-11

btt

This February, GatherDC took a group of 30+ young adults out of DC to start exploring their Jewish identities from a fresh perspective.

 

MARCH

Moishe House DMV Purim Party: March 3

Purim

All four DMV Moishe Houses (Bethesda, Capitol Hill, Columbia Heights, and Northern Virginia) gathered to celebrate Purim in spring 2018, welcoming over 200 community members with one giant bash!

 

Honeymoon Israel

hmi

HoneymoonIsrael DC celebrated 2018 with three trips to Israel, bringing diverse couples with at least one Jewish participant to experience Israel and build community back home in DC. We floated in the dead sea, partied in the Golan, and had hard conversations on the beach- welcome home to our 60 new HMI alumni couples!

 

APRIL

Moishe House Columbia Heights “Friends-Over” Thanksgiving: April 6

moishe house

Noah Brown led his first Moishe House Columbia Heights event, called “Friends-Over” (think Friendsgiving), which was a wonderful housewarming/potluck during the best Jewish holiday…Passover! 🙂

 

Pet Projects with Moishe House Northern Virginia: April 19

gdd moho

Moishe House Northern Virginia took part in Federation’s Sara & Samuel J. Lessans Good Deeds Day to make dog toys for cute canines from a local animal shelter.

 

MAY

Jewish People of the Year Party: May 10

jpoy

GatherDC celebrated the extraordinary people who had been featured as a Jewish Person of the Week from 2017-2018, and everyone who makes our Jewish community so friggin’ awesome at its Jewish People of the Year Party with games, photo-booth, a raffle, dancing, and more!

 

JUNE

March with GLOE at Capital Pride: June 9

gloe

The EDCJCC’s GLOE brought together individuals and Jewish groups to join their contingent of DC’s LGBTQ Jews and allies for this fun event!

 

JULY

Mr. NJB Pageant: July 15

nice jewish boys

On July 15, Jeremy Sherman took home the crown at the Nice Jewish Boys DC’s annual Mr. NJB Pageant. Jeremy danced, talked, and sashayed his way to the top, raising money along the way for Keshet’s LGBTQ Teen Shabbaton Program. Read more about Jeremy’s big win here.

 

AUGUST

Jewish Run Club: August 8

run club

This year, a group of Jewish exercise enthusiasts got together and started a running club! Once a month, they “gather” at GatherDC’s townhouse and go for a run around the city, followed by drinks.

 

SEPTEMBER

GatherDC’s Alternative Yom Kippur Experience: September 19

alt yk

For the 2nd year in a row, GatherDC hosted hundreds of young adults for an alternative Yom Kippur experience where we connected to themes of the day through small-group discussions, personal reflection, story-telling, journaling, and more.

 

OCTOBER

Wisdom & Wellness: Jewish Spiritual Tools for Mental Health: October 10

adas at the well

The Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington, Adas Israel Community Mikvah, and At The Well brought women of all ages together for an evening of learning and conversation with rabbi’s, mikvah attendants, wellness coaches, and therapists to explore using Jewish spiritual practices to live whole lives.

 

Federation’s Impact DC: October 18

impact

On October 18, 2018, more than 200 young leaders joined The Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership to party with a purpose and celebrate the impact of their philanthropy at home and around the globe.

 

Washington Hebrew Congregation District Shabbat: October 19

district shabbat

On Friday, October 19th, Washington Hebrew Congregation (WHC) debuted District Shabbat, a soulful, joyful, and musical Shabbat for all ages at the Southwest Waterfront.

 

NOVEMBER

ACCESS D.C. Policy & Brew Roundtable, November 8

access dc

Attendees at the event learned about AJC’s work on important global and domestic issues, sampled delicious beer, and networked with their fellow global Jewish advocates.

 

YP@AI Brunch and Learn with Rabbi Sarah Krinsky: November 11

brunch and learn

Bagels, mimosas, and Jewish learning? What could be better on a Sunday morning?!

 

DECEMBER

JWI’s Young Women’s Leadership Network Conference: December 2

jwi

JWI’s Young Women’s Leadership Conference brought together 250 women from across the country for a day of learning from each other, networking, and inspiring women’s leadership.

 

Hanukkah Happy Hour on the Hill with EntryPoint: December 5

dcjcc hanukkah

Over 300 young adults joined EDCJCC’s EntryPoint for their annual Hanukkah Happy Hour where we lit the candles, enjoyed gelt, 90s music, doughnuts, and more!

 

Tikkun Leil Shabbat: December 10

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Tikkun Leil Shabbat celebrated the final night of Chanukah. On all eight nights, we gathered in community members’ homes across the District to light candles and eat latkes together.